One Crossing

Our house,
from across the creek,
looks like a fantasy,

one window lit
beneath a streak
of yellow sunset. I want

to live there,
inside my own life,
unnamable longing,

so quiet,
your hand in mine,
the leaves

now gold, a tunnel
home, the shape
of evening.

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Small Candles Haiku

Candlelight dances
with early November snow,
home full of sweetness.

Books and blankets grace
soft pillows, always enough
room for each of us.

The nights grow ever
longer, and still the last thing
I hear is laughter.

Earth wheels her mighty
axis, powered in part by
these small gratitudes.

Emancipation

Three and a half years
since I’ve cleaned
these gutters. Leaves

turned to grey
confetti and finally
to dirt. In my hands,

mulch comes out in
satisfying clumps
the size of banana bread.

Others have offered
to clean these channels,
and for fourteen seasons

I declined –even
as the rains sloshed
unceremoniously

over the bulging sides,
even as snow turned
glacier slid down

the burdened rooftop
with nowhere to go –
precarious slabs of blue

that told the story
of neglect. But today,
in the quiet springtime,

I remove, finally,
the obstruction,
thinking sometimes,

the things we know
we need to do
simply have to wait.

Sestina of a Storm

Inside the pane, snowflakes resume falling.
She watches a screen diagram blue radar ripples,
a cyber shore-break of storm stacked on storm,
and dreams she is swimming inside the snowy house,
between the cresting drifts, searching for a memory,
the echo of a song.

It reminds her of him, this song.
She leans into sleep and soon she is falling
into the sea of cortex and the memory
of a voyage through blue hemispheres and tidal ripples.
He lived on a sailboat then, his vessel house,
thirty feet of fiberglass to take them through the storm.

This was not his first storm,
so he soothed his progeny crew with a shanty song
full of sailors’ words not allowed in their mother’s house.
The boom swung, and they clung to rails of polished teak, falling
down the prow into the centers of concentric ripples
expanding and expanding like the beginnings of a memory

that stretches beyond memory,
past the grey matter of a Pacific storm,
and deep into the undersea ripples
of a lifetime or more, where if a girl is lucky, a pirate song
might send her mind a’ falling
through the temporal house

of her own innocence, so that perhaps within the blue house
of her adulthood, she will recall how to fashion a sturdy sail from a moonlit memory
and winch the halyards tight, even now, as the mercury is falling.
To trust the wind is to fathom the subtlety of storm,
so she sights her sextant with a song,
humming softly beneath ripples

of cloud and sky, celestial ripples
turned to diamonds over a winter’s house,
battened down this night with a mother’s song –
the newest pebble in a pool of memory,
as Polaris glows softly through the storm,
by the moon forever falling.

Stories make ripples like skipping stones, and memory
surrenders, like a quiet house, to each passing storm,
while the waves play their endless song, and the snow just keeps on falling.

Winter Flowers

Wooden pencils scratch
over Tuesday night
word problems

to Django Rienhardt’s
Gypsy guitar,
while outside,

the mountains
turn ripe pollen orange
like this mason jar

dripping with stargazer lilies,
long past open. This is
one of the illuminated 

moments, when you notice
that everything matters,
that perhaps

you have landed
in the quiet center
of your own wild 

and beautiful garden,
and the children,
half sprouted,

are rooted
and blooming
like flowers.